Moving Overseas: The Next Steps
Sell or Rent?
It is completely up to you to decide if you want to sell your property or simply rent it out when moving overseas. If you decide to sell your flat or house, you’ll get your hands on additional liquid assets. You may need extra cash for your move, particularly if you are preparing for a long-term assignment or even emigration.
Finding a tenant for your property may sometimes be easier than putting it on the market, and letting it provide you with an additional regular income while you hold on to your assets. However, there is no guarantee that you’ll always find a reliable person to rent to, and you also need someone to look after your tenants and your property while you are gone.
Write Your Inventory List
The sooner you start on your inventory list before moving overseas, the better. Go through your house and make a list of all the items you want to take with you, leave in storage, sell or throw away.
Please consider carefully whether you actually need to pack or ship certain things, or if it might save you time (and even money) to buy them after moving overseas. (In expat circles, it is fairly easy to buy second-hand furniture and kitchen appliances after your arrival.)
You can also stick notes to each item to avoid forgetting (or reconsidering) what you wanted to do with it. If you would like to ship valuables or put them in storage, we recommend you estimate their current value for insurance purposes.
Unfortunately, even the best insurance premium covers only the material and not emotional value. So, you should think extra carefully what you would like to do with family heirlooms you are unable to part with when moving overseas.
Do Your Paperwork
Apart from your visa and work permit, there is a lot of other paperwork that needs completing before moving overseas. First of all, your family members may need a valid passport of their own. Keep in mind that renewing your passport might take a few weeks. As consulates and embassies often ask for a copy of your valid passport, this should be the first thing on your list. Also make sure to get your medical records from your doctor and dentist. In some countries the risk of catching hepatitis, typhoid, malaria, or other diseases is quite high. It makes sense to talk your plans over with your doctor and let them help you figure out, which type of vaccinations you need before moving overseas. You should also pick up your children’s school records as they will be important when you enroll your kids at a school abroad.
In addition, if you plan on driving a car during your time abroad, you should look into your host country’s legal requirements for driving licenses. Often, having an international driver’s license is of great help when moving overseas. However, many countries require you to exchange your foreign or international driving license for a local one. If you forget to exchange it, your license will be considered invalid and you will have to pay a hefty fine (at the least).
Plane Tickets and Temporary Accommodation
Once you know you are moving overseas, you should book your plane ticket. The sooner you book a flight, the cheaper the tickets will be. In addition to the financial considerations, this will also help your set a date for moving overseas and give you something to look forward to. If your take your pets with you, have dietary needs, or cumbersome luggage, it gives you enough time to contact your airline and organize everything.
If you don’t already have a place where you can stay, you also have to find temporary accommodation for yourself and your family. Short-term furnished lodging, such as serviced apartments, might be a good idea to start with when moving overseas.
If you have the time and money, it is recommendable to take a short trip to your new home before actually moving there. This way you can go house-hunting, or find a trustworthy local estate agent to take care of your housing situation for you. That way, you can cross one more thing off your list. But it will also give you peace of mind to know where you and your family will sleep upon arrival.